Saturday, October 31, 2009

my place and yours :: blog HQ

Playing along with Pip again this week. This week's theme queen was Tania from Ninon .

blog HQ

So here it is.

My blog HQ is wherever I can find a clear surface to put the lappy ... usually that is actually my lap but sometimes I manage to steal away a few moments in the kitchen - when small people think I am doing something else - to check in on my favourites.

The laptop is great - you can check in anywhere without having to worry about having a designated spot for all the computer paraphernalia. BUT ... the drawback is it is just how easy and available it is to dip in and out of. And so I find myself dipping in and out all day. And that's probably not such a good thing.

Anyhow a few items to mention that happened to be in my bloggy HQ today and found their way in to the photograph - some new Moleskin journals I bought today for a little project I have in mind, my favourite teapot filled with my current favourite tea (T2's Brisbane Breakfast), a few of the kids art supplies and a couple of overripe banana's I keep trying to press on the kids.

Ok and admittedly I did nudge the book into the shot. It's Cautionary Tales for Boys and Girls  and we just found it this morning. Have you seen it? It's hilariously funny and features some excellent renditions of softies as the characters of the tales. Cautionary and artistic. Excellent.

Head on over to Pip's place to check out some more Blog HQ's.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

my creative space ... is leaving on a jet plane*


plane taking off
(image via)

Well I did intend on writing a post last night about how incredibly hard it is to do a long stretch of solo parenting, and how much I totally take my hat off to people who do it full time, BUT I was so damn tired last night because of the solo parenting that I just couldn't put anything in to words. 

So instead here I find myself only blogging when there is another meme to join in on.

BUT I do have a pressing question which you, the crafty community via Kirsty's place, might have an answer to ...

What on earth kind of craft can you do on a plane these days?

Knitting? Probably not. Those knitting needles have quite pointy tips.  Hand quilting or embroidery? A no-brainer for the "NO" category really considering how sharp those needles are (and whilst comforting, probably not really practical to cart a massive quilt around). 

And so I wondered about crochet? Does that little bent end turn it from being a scary weapon with which one would be capable of hijacking a plane (?) into a harmless crafty tool with which one can wile away the hours on a long haul flight? 

Yes folks, I believe I am ready to branch out to the world of crochet having been completely inspired by the likes of Melanie, Tania, Tam, Kate and .... I could go on and on. So I splashed out and bought a hook at the recent Spotlight sale and figured - if it's ok with Qantas - I might just indulge in a spot of crochet whilst being held captive in an economy seat for over 20 hours**.  

I'd be very interested (like, very interested) to hear any stories or suggestions you may have for in flight craftiness! 

Hey we could create a new mile high club for crafters - or not ;)

Fly on over to Kirsty's place for some more creative spaces ... that are more than likely on land.

* at the end of the week and a half of solo parenting I will be joining the Mr, *gulp* sans children,  in Germany and then the UK ... actually probably just London.

** admittedly, the idea of sitting on my backside with nothing else to do but read, watch movies, nap and (hopefully), craft for over 20 hours is the part of the trip I am looking forward to the most.






Sunday, October 25, 2009

sunday stash #7 - but it didn't stay stashed for long

Yay! Tam is back and so is Sunday Stash. I know, I know I could have kept up with the stash posts (and I certainly appreciated those who did!), but I'm a bit of a rules girl and it felt a bit like having a party while your Mum and Dad were out doing it without Tam. 

So double excitement folks: these two little beauties were peeking up through the irky perky stuff in the ONE DOLLAR basket at my local quilting shop! Score! 

unknown $1 fabric

unknown $1 fabric

I didn't realise until I got home that it belongs to the same line but whose? Any ideas? Apparently they were samples from a rep so alas, the pieces were not as big as I would have liked.

Of course once a certain someone spotted it she declared she just really needed a bag. And since I am struggling with a quilt at the moment I jumped at the chance to whip something up that had me looking at some different fabric for a change. 


Sienna's tote


Some handles made from a bit of Snippets by American Jane for Moda and we had ourselves a bag. 

So here's one bit of stash that I guess can't technically be called stash at all really ... 

So for real stash on a Sunday pop on over to Tam's place. 


Have just found out that the fabric is Alexander Henry (of course it is - 'cause I loved it immediately). Found some in a different colour way here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

my place and yours :: bedside

I seem to only be posting when there's a meme on don't I? It's just that there are so many good ones and I'm like a kid when it comes to these things: I don't wanna miss out on the fun! Also the theme queen for this week's my place and yours is one of my favouritest bloggers, pottymouthmama.

So the theme is bedside this week and so I bring to you a picture of my bedside as it was yesterday (there might be a few more hair elastics and perhaps a snotty tissue or two there now).

bedside

A few pictures, a clock radio, lots of dust and a stack of books. I waver between feeling comforted by the pile of books (including the ones on the floor), and all the promise they hold, to feeling more stressed out then when I was at Uni, wondering when the hell I will ever get to read them all and how much money did I spend on this stack anyway?! 

So c'mon. I showed you mine now you show me yours. Just duck on over to Pip's place


Thursday, October 22, 2009

my creative space - hits and misses and the wash up

Um, you know that feeling just prior to a small person's birthday when you feel you just have to make something for them? Forget that twenty-odd people will be turning up on your doorstep in twelve hours and you still need to make a birthday cake shaped like a rocket ship (damn you Women's Weekly Kids' Party Cakes and your impossible standards!). But these days a birthday just isn't a birthday without a bit of crafty stress thrown in there somewhere.

So friends I present to you the hits and misses of the recent birthday crafting ...

HIT:

birthday bunting

A bit of birthday bunting. Upon reflection and with  bit more time I would have gone the extra mile and encased the tops of the flags into some bias binding but hey, the birthday boy didn't seem to mind!

MISS:

crown?

A felt birthday crown that ended up looking more like Wonder Woman's tiara thingy. Not that there is anything wrong with Wonder Woman. She's awesome, but the birthday fella isn't exactly in his satin tights fighting for your rights ... yet. Also as a time saver (and because Amanda said it was ok), I used craft glue to stick on the star and that just wasn't pretty. Lesson learned and that's always a good thing right? Right!

All in all the party was a hit. The cake did look like a rocket of sorts, the bunting created a birthday-ish feel and the crown stayed firmly in the sewing room never to see the light of day. 

And the wash up part?

the wash up

... was made that much more enjoyable with a beautiful hand knitted cloth sent to me, "just 'cos" from the lovely Nikki ... and some bubbles. 

For more creative spaces click on over to Kirsty's

Sunday, October 18, 2009

my place and yours :: on the shelf

Clever Pip has come up with another beauty and here is my offering ...


IMG_6312

... a very narrow little windowsill in my kitchen where nothing has really worked until the recent arrival of my Printspace prints. 

Except suddenly I seem to have come over all Alfred Hitchcocky don't you think? 

IMG_6315

Fly on over to Pip's place to see more other places! 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

birth day

crown from Sarah (Quince and Quire)

Well, this time two years ago I was trying to have a nap thinking - hoping - I could finally be in labour. Having just done the grocery shopping, some little niggles had started as I stepped foot back inside the house. Being already ten days overdue I didn't want to chance this labour slowing down or stopping and so I decided instead to get up and have a shower. 

Mum had arrived that morning (which I think is why I finally went into labour), and had promised to make a lamb roast for dinner that night. By about five o'clock in the afternoon after a few fairly convincing contractions I was pretty sure I wouldn't be around for said lamb roast and given mum's ability to get completely side tracked I figured if I was going to eat anything I was going to need to cook it myself. I still can't believe both the Mr and my mum walked past me rocking on all fours in the kitchen and neither of them thought to take over the dinner preparations!

By about 7pm I had decided the contractions seemed close enough together to make a move to the hospital, but having laboured for eighteen hours with Sienna - eight of which in hospital - I was hoping we weren't rushing things. Well, by the time we got to the birth centre I was in such intense labour and I remember feeling cross with myself, thinking, "You've done this before it shouldn't be this hard this soon." After a useless - in terms of managing pain - half an hour under the shower I must have asked for the bath to be run. 

At this stage I was told that a midwife from the labour ward would be coming by to help out as the birth centre were short staffed. I still remember feeling so put off by her uniform and trying not to look at her too much as I stepped into what felt like a too cold bath (it wasn't - I was just hot from the shower), ready to take my position in front of my soothing green tiles. But this time I just couldn't seem to focus on them and again, felt disappointed in myself for letting the labour get away from me at what I still thought was such an early stage. Then suddenly I felt that urge to push and started to panic thinking again, "It's too soon!" all the while trying desperately to focus on those green tiles and not on the uniformed midwife beside me*. But no one seemed to insist I stop or slow down, and after what seemed like only half a dozen fast and furious contractions there he was - wide-eyed but completely silent and still.

Happy Birthday my enormous, gorgeous, calm, cuddly, beautiful boy!  

Luca
Luca 4.3kgs, 54cms

(Many thanks to Tania whose beautiful birth day posts about her own children inspired me to write my own and to Sarah whose beautiful hand made crown Luca is wearing in the top photo.)

* I should note here that the midwife was absolutely superb and got me focused when I needed to be. It's just funny how some things seem so powerful during that heightened state of awareness that is labour.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sarah's quilt :: first quilt


fabric selection without flash

:: unpicking

unpicking

:: helping

helping

:: finishing

Sarah's quilt - before washing

:: washing, drying

Sarah's quilt

Sarah's quilt

:: admiring 

Sarah's quilt - back

:: giving ... soon!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

my creative space - more birthday presents!

I've been slightly disappointed by my lack of blogging ability lately. But then when I realise how many birthday's have been and gone and how many items I have checked off my, "to make" list, my bloggy silence becomes clearer!

Anyway here are just a few more bits of handmade gifty goodness that have been given or are set to be in the near future. Oh and a massive "thanks" to Nikki for pointing me in the direction of Buy Handmade after my recent worry. I took the pledge! There's no turning back!

So here is a cushion I have made for my niece who will turn three soon. I was very much inspired by a cushion made by Lexi for her son (except hers is INSANELY good!), and it was a perfect opportunity to use a moda jelly roll I bought in a rush of blood. Phew, no need to feel guilty for that little purchase anymore*.

Madeline's cushion

Madeline's cushion

and the back view ... 

back view

Still wondering if that closure part might need a few buttons but when I think of button holes I start to sweat. I tried to do a fairly large cross over so that bulging should be limited. Hate the bulge!

Ok. Got time for one more? Excellent.

So recently the two knitters in my life, (mum and the Bestie), felt the need for a knitting bag that would happily house their projects but could also do the job of carting said projects to and from each others houses (they have been doing a bit of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" type work. Mum introduced the Bestie to the knitting world, now the Bestie shows Mum all the stuff she has gleaned from you tube).

I came up with this number following an excellent free tutorial from The Purl Bee which I found via Gret and her excellent "free stuff I love" posts. 

knitting bag for mum

This is Mum's version - she loves green - and wouldn't you know it, I forgot to get a shot of the Bestie's version.** The linen is from Ikea. 

It's not as stiff as I would have liked but once stuffed with a few knitting projects it does seem to stand itself up.

So there we have it. A few more projects ticked off the list and hopefully a few more happy birthday girls. Now pop on over to Kirsty's for more creative spaces while I go back to the birthday list to see who's next!

* That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
** Basically the same except for a 1930's repro print in red for the straps. 

Friday, October 2, 2009

resistance was futile

I had a visit from my sis again last weekend and so this always involves me selflessly taking her on all sorts of shopping journeys around Sydney. It's hard work I tell you.

Anyway walking along Crown St in Surry Hills feeling slightly sick about the amount of money I had just spent on a top, when what do my eyes see in a shop window but this little beauty 


Printspace - from little things big things grow

Printspace - from little things big things grow

I mean really. How was I meant to walk past that? Unfortunately getting my hands on it involved me walking in to the shop where I was then confronted with a choice of even more gorgeous prints by Melbourne-based (of course!), illustrator and graphic artist Mara Girling of Printspace (check out her blog for more gorgeous prints and inspiring images. Oh and tell me you wouldn't want to see these images on some fabric?? Yes please!).

In the end, using super human strength, I managed to cull my hand full down to one more little beauty 

Printspace - bird stack

Now to find some frames to show off these gorgeous birdies ... and maybe one more print ... because I think things look good in three's don't you? ;)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

my creative space - birthday bunnies

It's been a softie factory round these parts of late. Three birthday's* for three gorgeous girls in quick succession had me dashing for the books in search of something I could make as opposed to buying something for a change. 

Perhaps unwisely I chose the same pattern for two of the birthday girls, both of whom go to preschool with Sienna. I had visions of them (or their parents), comparing notes on what a dodgy gift giver I was**. Not only had I MADE something but it was from the same pattern! That's probably against some kind of crafty gift giving law right?

Luckily (?) one of the parties was cancelled so there was no opportunities for comparison. But seriously once I had made one of these bunnies, (courtesy of a pattern from Kirsten Doran), I just couldn't stop! They started breeding ...

bunny

dotty bunny

Well, sort of ;)

Little bags in co-ordinating fabric were also called for I felt. Except I only remembered to photograph one of them - oops ;)

dotty tote

For more creative spaces hop on over to Kirsty's burrow ... sorry. Too much coffee. 

* I forgot to take a photo of the third pressie which is a shame because it was the super cool "Zing the Polite Cat" from One Red Robin via Meet Me at Mikes. Very cool cat that one.

** In the end of course both girls seemed super excited by their bunnies and bags but there was that moment of panic when I placed our offering on the pile*** of very nicely, professionally wrapped LARGE gifts that had me wondering whether I should dash to the nearest enormous toy store. Do you know that feeling? 

*** In the end I just poked it down deep into the pile :)

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